An independent review has found Australia’s model work safety laws are operating as intended.

A review of the model WHS laws is complete and available here.

The model WHS laws are used as a template for state regulations.

The review report makes 34 recommendations designed to enhance the WHS framework.

Key recommendations relate to the model WHS Regulations and Codes of Practice, including making regulations on psychological health, higher penalties and other measures to strengthen the compliance and enforcement framework and enhance deterrence, and clarifying requirements for meaningful WHS consultation, representation and participation to improve safety outcomes.

“The model WHS laws are largely operating as intended but I am recommending some changes to provide clarity and to drive greater consistency in the application and enforcement of the laws across jurisdictions,” said independent reviewer Ms Marie Boland.

“The three-tier legal framework is widely supported, and there is a view that it is sufficiently flexible to accommodate the evolving nature of work and changing work relationships,” said Ms Boland.

The review report is with WHS ministers for consideration and their response to the recommendations is expected later in the year.